Friday, October 17, 2008

Where Am I?

I’ll catch up on this week’s knitting adventure in my next post which hopefully will be tonight.

I had difficulty reading the
Yarn Harlot's blog in its entirety today because I was laughing so hard. She told of her experience with coffee at the airport. When she mentioned “the loo” I had to stop and think for a moment and, ah yes, it’s the commodity (is that where the name commode) came from. It’s “The John”.

Because I am from Maine originally, now living in Vermont with adult daughters in Rhode Island, I often find myself confusing clerks in stores with my selections. It’s a polite way of telling you that there is a breakdown in communication. To make matters worse, I usually can’t remember which New England State coined the word.

When asked what I want on my hotdog, I have to decide the following:

1. “the works” or “loaded”. One comes minus one condiment. Because I can’t remember which is which, I just say “everything”. Ok, ok, hot dogs are not good for me but I didn’t eat one for over 10 years, along with processed cheeses and anything with chemicals, etc. so I am entitled. I fell off the organic, natural food wagon awhile back. Just when it came into vogue. Do I detect a bit of rebellion there?

2. Water fountain in Maine, “blubba” (a/k/a bubbler) in Rhode Island so……….oh, just go to the store and buy one of those bottled waters.

3. “Tonic” in Maine…..soda in Vermont. I have to get that one correct as I am so addicted to soda. Doesn’t tonic sound like a hair product for men?

4. “Bag” in Maine, “sac” in Montana. I use sac to impress people because they ask where I am from. I told you I need to get a life!!!! However, now I am bringing my own crocheted market bags to the store so it doesn’t really matter.

5. “Car” ….well, they just say it differently in Massachusetts and those of you who have been there know exactly what I am talking about. I’d explain it but it really is a “location” joke. Location….you have to be there to understand.

So to add to the confusion, I am bilingual and try to be polite when I return home to family and speak the language with elderly relatives and hope the heck I am getting it right!

There are days when I really get an “identity” crisis trying to remember all this and figure out which “hat” I am wearing today.

Ah, heck…….I’ll just be me. That solves it all.

What are some of the terms unique to your geographical location?

Happy Knitting!


  1. Funny to hear you talk about this. After several years of working in a big city restaurant/nightclub I think my brain automatically picks up on a persons accent and adjusts to their local dialect. However #5 reminds me of a funny story from my youth. In the years when we had relocated to Florida people always found my mother accent to be odd, and she was once very sternly told by a stranger on the street, "Ma'am we don't have cahs here we have CARRRs."

  2. My boyfriend and I have the great "jimmies" vs. "sprinkles" debate. I say "I'd like chocolate jimmies, please", my boyfriend says, "I'd like sprinkles on my ice cream". I'm sure the difference is regional but he grew up only two towns over from me. So who knows.

  3. Ah yes, the old "Pak you-eh cah in Bahston Squwah" thing.

    Our house in New Hampshire was on Cota Road in a new development. Some people were calling it CAH-tah, until the 911 folks responded to a call on Carter across town by searching for the address on our street. Whoops. From then on, those of us not from New England who called it Coe-tuh all along won out.

  4. I grew up drinking pop and out in the west it's soda.

    Can't think of much else. It's harder, tho, out west, as we such a melting pot of everyone...

  5. I think in the area where I live, it's not so much that there are words or names for things that are common to here so much as the way words and names are spoken. The south has it's drawl, but east Texas has what we call "twang". It's not something I even know how to type out phonetically; you just have to hear it to believe it. ;-Þ

  6. LOL, you are right different places call things different things. If you ask for a bowl or Chili in the South you get chili con carne. If you ask for a bowl of chili out west, you will get a bowl of chili stew (soup). With chilies no beans or meat. hehe And I believe in MA they pronouce Car "Ca" they tend not to pronouce r's very much ;P. Live in Framingham for a year when I was in high school. :)

  7. It's "pahk yah cah in Hahvahd Yahd" anywho, how about "subs" "grinders" "hoagies" for those long, big sandwiches with the rounded top? it's mixed in vermont: sodie-pop (older gen), or just "coke" for everything. tonic is just tonic water, like gin and tonic. and, "ya can't get theh-a from heah-a" new england with variations!

    most vermohntahs were insulted when the rednecks on "newhart" had MAINE accents, not vermont ones!

  8. wanted to clarify my maine comment! we were not insulted that the accent was maine, rather that they just got the whole vermont accent totally wrong! i love maine! ; )

  9. I was going to mention the whole spinkles vs jimmies, but I see another person with the same great name as mine has beaten me to it! LOL

  10. I remember asking for a milk shake in NH and the server brought me a little carton of milk and told me to shake away.
    We also call Pepsi or Coke, pop. In NH, it's soda.

  11. I am cracking up over Karen's "milk shake" experience! ;-Þ